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Sunday Sunday here again

6 Nov


I feel lacking in self-will. Two of my November resolutions are already broken. Last night I hosted the Academical Couple for dinner and broke resolution #7 (not to drink); and blogging today as the first time since Thursday breaks resolution #1 (writing here every day). Rats.

Thinking about my lack of self-discipline in these two areas (my excuses are no more than tirednes and inclination towards a lovely glass of cava) led me on to contemplation of the area of my life that lives in a big black box in the corner of my brain with the lid tightly closed: money. Broadly speaking, my life is good – full of purposeful activity, good food, exercise, time with my boy Londonshrink and our wonderful friends like the Academical Couple. I have a great job that pays well. But my financial affairs are a mess, and I’m scared even to be honest with anyone about the extent of the mess. Despite working for a decade, my student loan appears not to be paid off, and the personal loan I took out to fund a holiday and some extras just seems to get bigger rather than smaller (currently at around £7k). I have a credit card that needs paying off (around £2k) and miscellaneous obligations of perhaps another £500. I have no mortgage, and my rent is manageable; I have no kids, no car, no store cards. I don’t really have expensive tastes: my clothes are high street and usually secondhand/charity shopped rather than new. We don’t regularly travel on huge adventures around the world. I probably eat out (2/3 times per month?) more than I should and spend too much on crap – books, coffees, nice food to try. Still, I am too scared to open the post at times for fear of the unexpected bill that leaps out at me and takes all my spare cash. I have no savings, no pension, no disaster money, no escape fund.

I know I need to sort this mess out: watching Londonshrink pay off his loan for his masters degree should have inspired me, but it just leaves me feeling small and scared and overwhelmed.

So I have a thought (maybe it’s a silly one, of the type that comes to you in the shower as your legs are still shaking from Level 3 of the 30 Minute Shred); maybe I could get one of the wonderful frugal bloggers to give my finances the once-over in return for an equivalent amount of time spent by me doing something that would help them? I’m good at several things that others find daunting:

    I craft great job applications that help get people over the shortlist hurdle and into the interview, and I’m great at helping people prepare for interviews and tests
    I’m a good career coach and mentor, and able to help people make decisions for themselves about their direction in life
    I write great speeches and presentations and am a practised editor of the written word
    I understand politics and social policy and will happily run skillshare workshops on a range of issues.

So, maybe out there there’s someone who needs help with their career or is looking for work, needs an editor for their NaNoWriMo project or dissertation, needs help putting together a great campaign to save a local service or just wants me to spend some time working through their direction in life with them. All in return for an afternoon spent sorting out my finances with me – a skills exchange, if you will. Does anyone know that person?


Miscellany: goals & shredding

3 Nov

I gather the done thing in the lifestyle blogosphere is to set goals. Here are mine for November (first drafted at Jenn’s place in response to her review of October. Thanks for the encouragement Jenn!)

To blog every day, tuning up my writing and relaxing my mind (daily writing is supposed to be a marvellous discipline and form of self-therapy)
To complete the 30 day shred and then start over again to make it 60 days by mid-December
To put some cash aside for Christmas, and buy at least fifty per cent of the presents I need to get this year for my four loved ones (Londonshrink and I have already bought one another a new year’s trip to Belgrade, so nothing needed for him…
To put aside some cash for said trip to Belgrade
To cook at least four healthy new meals
To practise conscious kindness in my everyday life, especially with those closest to me
Not to drink any alcohol during November unless not to do so would cause offence
Not to buy any new clothes but do only charity-shopping

Sadly, I’ve already broken one of my resolutions: I failed to pack gym bottoms this morning, so had to do a gym-bound mercy dash via M&S’ leggings section this evening.

This was caused, though, by my beflusterment at the HotPants disaster. Mid-Shred, yesterday, after just one outing, the new Groupon’d hotpants shredded themselves, perhaps in sympathy with my screaming muscles. I completed the Shred cycle with one leg of hotpant open down my side and thigh from top to bottom. Thank goodness for M&S full briefs for saving my modesty – there was no way I was leaving my daily session half-done! I rather think the fella next to me was rather careful to keep his eyes on his own posture, though. Anyway, the hotpants are on their way back to Zaggora, wrapped in brown paper and disappointment.

Exercising in said new leggings this evening, I was bemused to find the studio next to me was full of young women in skimpier-than-usual gym gear shimmying up poles. Well! I marched up to the manager at the end of my workout and pointed out, in no uncertain tone, that sexualising the gym space was not what I paid my subs for. I doubt I shall be using that branch of LA Fitness again.

Still, I’ve now completed 19 days of the 30 Day Shred; not even pole-dancers, obstreperous gym managers and shredding Hotpants are going to stop me getting to 30!